Authors: Henry Chesbrough, Andrea Prencipe
Addresses: Center for Open Innovation, Institute of Management, Innovation & Organization, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, USA. ' DASTA, University G. d'Annunzio (I), Pescara, Italy; Science and Technology Policy Research (SPRU), University of Sussex, UK
Abstract: The aim of this paper is to provide a comprehensive perspective for understanding the dynamics of modularity and the implications of those dynamics for innovation networks. The main contention of this paper is that the dynamics of technology development should reflect the dynamics of a firm network. During the early development of a technology, when the interactions among component types are unclear (in a state of flux) and, therefore, difficult to codify and freeze, organisations build connections with research centres and universities to explore alternative technological solutions. Once such interactions are better understood, codified, modularised and shared, then more exploitative networks (e.g., with suppliers and customers) may be better suited to exploit the current technology. In the transition from the early development phase to the more mature phase, firms must build ties to startups and new entrants, because these firms experiment with alternative design configurations that exploit the underlying technology. In addition, during this transition stage, firms must connect to third-party firms, since the supporting investments made by these firms may determine which of the alternative configurations will become |the standard|. During this stage, the relationships across firms are defined and governed by modular interfaces that are, in turn, dictated by product interfaces.
Keywords: technology development; development dynamics; innovation networks; modular architectures; modularity; organisational interfaces; technology; modular interfaces; product interfaces.
International Journal of Technology Management, 2008 Vol.42 No.4, pp.414 - 425
Available online: 10 Jul 2008 *Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article